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polka dotted denim DIY


I'm excited to feature this great DIY sent in by my good friend Summer who is the mind behind several great businesses including House&Hold and Fawn&Forest.
Below she shares step by step instructions for how you can do this too! So cute.

jeans or cut offs
light grey acrylic paint
a ruler
a wood skewer (for smaller dots, pencil eraser for larger dots)

1. Lay the cut-offs on a flat surface, focusing on 1 side and 1 leg at a time. You will be painting in sections, letting the paint dry as you go.
2. Decide on the width between the dots. I roughly went 1" between each dot and staggered the dots so each alternating row's dots are in between the previous row's dots.
3. Starting at the bottom of the jeans, follow along with the ruler to create a nice, even row of dots 1 inch apart.
4. Dip the end of the skewer in paint, varying every 2nd or 3rd dot so the dots have a variety of opacity.
5. Once you have a consistent, evenly spaced set of base rows you may need to free hand it a bit as you go into the inner and out leg sections and over pockets to follow the cut of the jeans. Jeans are not totally flat, so you have to roll with it.
6. If you mess up and put a dot where it doesn't belong, simply wipe it away with a wet cloth, quickly.
7. Proceed to hand dot your jeans until you reach the top band. I did not dot the top band, but you certainly could.

Light grey paint is a good choice -- off white will look dirty and white-white will look too "new".
Hand dotting is not intended perfect but adds an interesting element to the garment.


  1. I have planned to do this for ever! looks good!

  2. I love this! thanks for sharing

  3. This is such a cute idea! I might have to make some for one of my best girlfriends! :) Cheers from London! Will

  4. This is awesome! Just bought the denim polka dot button up from Gap... Love this!

  5. does the paint stay on after washing? if so, i will try this! for sure!

    1. The paint does not wash off! I used standard acrylic paint for the dots and have washed the jeans several times with much success.

    2. thank you! i will try this. maybe i will even share my result on my blog if u don't mind, i will refer to your blog if i'll do this!

  6. Excellent idea! Could even do this to a shirt...hmm lots of ideas. Thanks! :)

  7. awesome! but doesn't this get out with washing?

    Love * Monstros no Armário

  8. LOOOOOOOVE these!! SO cute!!!

  9. Great idea! Loving the polka dots this season.

  10. I just made a pair of cuttoffs to wear around the house but this would make them ready for public consumption! Great idea.

  11. Love the polka dots, but I might just try on a back pocket or maybe on the inside hem, so you get a peek when I have them rolled. Not brave enough for that many dots <3

  12. Great idea, and so simple! As for those asking if it will wash out - it definitely won't. Acrylic paint, when dry, is water resistant, very nearly waterproof. Believe me, I have ruined several pieces of clothing by spilling acrylic paint on them!

  13. Posting from US: feel free to email me as I've no way to get back to this board & reply: . I just took my fav pair of camerican eagle cutoffs. Placed old rags to stuff leg area just to b safe. Wanted quick, permanent way out. Took bleach pen I keep around the house (usually found in the very bottom of my purse). Tide works great! Didn't do all the measuring & such, just eyeballed out, but made tiny dots being aware it would spread a tiny but. Let process for 5-7 minutes (sit) then wash with a load of whites on extra rinse cycle on highest heat setting possible. Launder as usual. Expect immediate compliments!

  14. This looks fab. Such a fun way to revitalize a tired pair of denim trousers! Thanks for sharing!

  15. i can't wait to try this! but have you washed the jeans after? does acrylic paint endure the washing machine, or is handwash the way to go?

  16. love this idea! I just love anything polka dotted, so I think I'm gonna make these pretty soon!

  17. Hi! I've given you some link love at, since your DIY was one of my Top 10 DIYs from other bloggers. I usually don't like polka dots, but these changed my mind :)


  18. If you're lazy like me, you can use a pegboard instead. Lay the jeans flat, place the pegboard flat on top, and fill in the holes!

  19. I think this would work with bleach gel and a Q-tip.

  20. Thank you for sharing and being so detailed :) !!


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